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Province to Province: How the Region Canadians Call Home Affects Their Travel Habits

The Canadian economy is gaining momentum. According to Statistics Canada, the average Canadian’s disposable income grew 2.2 percent between 2015 and 2016. With heavier wallets, Canadian consumers are feeling more optimistic about spending, including their travel spending. How Canadians fared in disposable income growth, however, varies dramatically across the country, and their travel intentions do too.

Residents living in provinces that experienced higher rates of income growth had a higher likelihood of taking more outbound trips than domestic trips in 2017, compared to 2016. British Columbians experienced a whopping 5.6 percent increase in disposable income from 2015 to 2016. As a result, residents of that province felt wealthier in 2017, which could help explain the 7.1 percent increase in outbound trips seen that year. The same occurred in Ontario and Quebec. These provinces also saw increases in outbound trips alongside increases in their disposable income.

In contrast, those provinces that experienced lower rates of income growth took more domestic trips than outbound trips in 2017. This includes the provinces of Manitoba, Newfoundland, Labrador, Saskatchewan and Alberta. These provinces all saw greater increases in domestic trips than outbound trips from 2016 to 2017 and had the lowest rate of disposable income growth from 2015 to 2016.

Canadian Province Travel Preferences

1Statscan, Disposable Income Growth

2Conference Board of Canada, Outbound Canada November 2017

3CANSIM, Tourism Demand in Canada

It’s apparent that residents of the various Canadian provinces do not travel the same distance as their provincial counterparts. But it’s not just the destination choice that varies. A new study by Development Counsellors International, “Capturing the Canadian Consumer: Insights into The Path To Purchase For Canadian Travelers,” confirms key differences in the travel patterns and preferences between the regions Canadians call home.

The study details particular trends, for example, the Quebecois (who love to travel, and saw increases in both outbound and domestic trips) are more likely to have gone on romantic getaways and multi-generational trips versus the overall Canadian population.

To learn more about provincial travel habits and more, you can purchase “Capturing the Canadian Consumer” directly from the Development Counsellors International website for download.

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Written By

Kate Penniall

Kate has worked in research for a variety of entities from a large public company to a local arts and music festival. As DCI's Research Associate, Kate assists both economic development and tourism clients with their research needs.

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